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Wednesday, June 07, 2006
BYU Daily Universe Misses The Point...Again
by Cordeiro
The intellectual brain trust of BYU's Daily Universe Editorial Board must be on the weak side now that the Spring and Summer terms have begun. This time of year the paper is published but a few times a week, and few people other than the throngs of visitors bother to actually pick the publication up to peruse it. Most of the time they're looking for baseball scores or movie show times and skip the Op-Ed page all together.

The latest editorial claiming to be on the subject of illegal immigration is barely worth the bandwidth it took for me to read it. Entitled "Overstepping Bounds ", the authors decry the practice of border state highway patrols turning over illegal immigrants to federal authorities charged with deporting such people. The authors would do well to conduct better research before issuing their denunciations upon a federal agency which no longer exists - that being the Immigration and Naturalization Service. The actual federal agency charged with immigration enforcement is ICE - Immigration and Customs Enforcement - not to be confused with ice delivery people.

The Daily Universe Editorial board would also do well to understand another basic principle of law enforcement. State Troopers in every state take an oath to uphold and enforce the law. While enforcing immigration laws may not be part of their day to day duties, it is wrong to assume they are prohibited from turning criminals over to the proper federal authorities due to jurisdictional issues.

You see, in a highway traffic stop, the driver of the automobile is required to show a driver's license, car registration, and in most cases, proof of insurance. Illegal immigrants cannot - in most states, especially those on the border - legally obtain a driver's license. By operating a motor vehicle without this document, the illegal immigrant has broken the law and is subject to arrest by the state trooper. Strike one against the scenario outlined in the editorial.

Strike two against the editorial is the simple fact that by entering the country in a way which bypasses normal immigration and customs laws, these people have broken the law. Hence the term Illegal Alien. People who break laws are criminals. Again, remember the State Troopers are sworn to enforce the law. Since they do not have the authority to hold Illegal Aliens on federal violations, they call the ICE Agents who have the proper authority.

Strike three against the editorial is the simple need for common sense. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents cannot be everywhere the State Troopers are. The very fact local law enforcement is turning over Illegal Aliens to ICE is an excellent use of common sense - a trait not used much in government circles. This is not, as the editorial claims, a question of checks and balances. Checks and balances are written into the Constitution to ensure no one branch of government becomes more powerful than another. The use of all law enforcement resources to ensure the security of the law abiding citizens is simply smart. The continued threat posed by Illegal Immigration is a clear and present one - one that needs to be countered on every level possible.

The argument made by the Daily Universe Editorial Board that Illegal Aliens deserve a pass at a roadside traffic stop simply because the State Trooper is not an ICE Agent is ludicrous on its face. Three strikes - the Editorial Board is out. The policy of turning over Illegal Aliens to Federal Agents by Local Law Enforcement should be applauded as good use of scarce resources.

Here endeth the lesson.
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